Daily Archives: November 29, 2012

Someone give them the bad news


Philosophy majors at work

Hamburger flippers demand higher wages in NYC.

“They’re giving us $7.25 an hour, so many of my co-workers are living on food stamps. You can’t live on that in this city,” a protester told Good Day NY.

The workers who say they don’t make enough to put food on the table for their families would  like an increase in their hourly pay to $15.

Here’s the deal: you can’t support a family on a minimum wage job and if that’s the best you can do, don’t have a family. Or go into politics – that’s unskilled labor that actually pays.


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First casualty of the synagogue wars but surely not the last

After Sandy’s storm surge, EVERYONE loves levees

Randy Caravella, owner of the property he hopes to sell to the Greenwich Reform Synagogue, steps down as president of the Cos Cob Association after neighbors and fellow merchants threaten boycott. Word I’m hearing is that the neighborhood’s heating up. Assuming Lou Caravella accepts my sage advice and sells his entire parcel to the synagogue, thus obviating the need for a lot line revision hearing, this matter will fall off the P&Z agenda until a formal application, with plans, is submitted later next year. That won’t stop intra-neighborhood feuding during the winter, of course, so look for a hot conflagration when this comes back around next spring.


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In case you were wondering whether Peter Tesei had anything better to do, the answer is no

Peter pulls a wheelie

Tesei announces intention to run for First Selectman. In a phone call to FWIW Tesei rejected critics’ complaints that he’d been a do-nothing occupant of Town Hall for the past three terms, and begged for understanding: “if practice makes perfect, and nobody’s perfect, why practice?”, he whined. “Besides, that secret backer who bought me my new house is going to want his money back sooner or later, so I need the gig.”

Greenwich Democrat Chairman Francis Fudrucker was laughing too hard to provide comment.


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One contract of interest today

And even that’s probably of interest only to my clients and I me (and the parties themselves, of course), because we know what we bid for 34 Bote Road, which now reports an executed contract. The property started at $2.795 million back in September, 2011, a price which possibly reflected the owner’s confusion about valuing this as a two-lot parcel (legally it is; practically, we didn’t think so), dropped down to $2 million by the end of its one-year listing term and dropped to $1.750 million when it was picked up by a new broker. My clients moved on to another property they preferred, long ago, and now the seller has found another buyer. A happy ending for all, I suppose – certainly my clients are convinced they came out ahead.


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Remember this the next time you hear that liberals are smarter than conservatives

New Democrats

After showering him with money and votes, Silicon Valley gets the shaft- Obama rejects their plea for more visas for scientists in favor of continuing a program to admit 50,000 uneducated welfare recipients and looters. Obama is acting deliberately – the liberals of Silicon Valley are just too stupid to see his plan.

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. The purpose of the bill is to increase the number of visas available by up to 55,000 for immigrants with advanced degrees in those fields.

[Yesterday Obama announced that he would not support it]

The reason: In exchange for making thousands of new visas available to STEM workers, the STEM Act abolishes another visa program, called the “Diversity Visa” program, which distributes 50,000 visas through a lottery to a pool of nearly 15 million applicants with high school degrees.

The Diversity Visa program drives some people completely bonkers.

Yale law school professor Peter Schuck, who describes himself as “militantly moderate,” is one such person.

In a 2011 op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, he called for a swap similar to the one proposed in the STEM Act.

First Schuck mocks the program for its lottery process, which, in 2011, resulted in 50,000 people being told they got visas when in fact they had not.

Then he hits a bigger point, arguing that the Diversity Visa program “imposes a cost — an opportunity cost.”

“The fact that some of the 50,000 lottery winners will turn out to be desirable immigrants is an accident, not a policy.”

“The solution is straightforward: Abolish the program and use those 50,000 visas (or more) to promote carefully defined national interests, particularly in more high-skilled immigrants who, many studies show, produce jobs, innovation and new businesses.”


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It’s the weather, stupid

Heading up the Christmas trail to Al’s

Gearing up for what could be Britain’s coldest winter in 100 years. Global warmists can deny all they wish, can explain away why the earth’s temperature stopped rising sixteen years ago, why their data are “incorrect” rather than “outright lies”, but this just shouldn’t be happening in their model. They know that of course, which is why they’ve switched to “extreme weather” from “global warming”, but a new name doesn’t change the underlying fact: the platform they’ve rested their goal of domination and control on is disappearing. I’d say “melting”, but it would only encourage them.


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It’s not driven by a death wish or stupidity, Republicans will vote for more taxes because they want to stay in office

The two major parties are shaping a deal that will raise taxes now and supposedly cut entitlement payments “10-20 years down the road”. Oh, you betcha. Dan Mitchell is not the only conservative commentator to point out that when Republicans go into a negotiating room with Democrats they get the shaft, but after Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Bush fell for the trap and agreed to accept tax hikes in exchange for cuts to be named later and never got the tax cuts (instead, they were pilloried by the Democrats for raising taxes) there is no excuse for Republicans to do so again.

Republicans know this, so why would they tee up the football again? The simplest explanation is also the most obvious. Just like their Democrat counterparts, D.C. Republicans are politicians, first, last and entirely. They are all about getting reelected – indeed, that task consumes them from the morning after their first campaign win to their final day in office, decades later. The current political climate says that you won’t get reelected if you don’t raise taxes on the minority and you won’t get reelected if you cut entitlement spending.

So that’s what they’ll do, hiding their complicity with the “enemy” with loud trumpeting of the cuts to come, about how this time by golly they’re going to get serious about cutting spending, etc. Nothing changes.


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Slant the news? Us?

Discussing the renewed push by liberals to close Guantanamo Bay and transfer the terrorists it holds to US soil, Britain’s Daily Mirror says this:

President Barack Obama ordered the closing of the Guantanamo detention centre when he took office in 2009, but that was blocked by a Republican-led bill that cut off funding to move the detainees to the US.

In 2009, Democrats controlled the Senate 58-42 and the vote to block funding was 90-6. That took me two seconds to dig up on the Internet. Just saying.


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Christmas doldrums

Not much on today’s open house tour, although there are a couple of new listings I want to check out. One I don’t need to see again because it hasn’t changed since I first viewed it is 78 Doubling Road. I mention it only because it’s also on the tour today and I’m reminded that it still hasn’t sold despite being priced $2.1 million less than it sold for new in 2007. At that time, the owners paid its builder $8.6 million – today it can be yours for just $6.5. Houses like this don’t have much appeal to me but that’s solely a matter of personal taste – the house is solidly constructed, located on a great street and has a nice yard. In the past, it would have found plenty of buyers who wanted it and were willing to pay a lot of money to get it.

Obviously that’s not the case now, which speaks to the current state of the market and not this particular home.


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I’m late to this story, but perhaps you missed it too

NYPD patrolman buys warm boots for homeless man. I guess it’s been on the news but who reads local news? I found this in a British tabloid. In Greenwich, the guy would probably have held out for Manolo Blahniks, but hey …

Officer Deprimo said he was patrolling Times Square in the heart of Manhattan when he came across the man, who was huddled next to a storefront with nothing on his feet, the New York Times reports.

‘It was freezing out and you could see the blisters on the man’s feet,’ the officer told the Times. ‘I had two pairs of socks and I was still cold.’

Officer Deprimo said he talked to the homeless man and found out his shoe size: 12.

He watched the man stand up and walk slowly, painfully, down the cold pavement of the sidewalk on the balls of his feet.

The 25-year-old officer went into a nearby Sketcher’s store and found a $100 pair of winter boots that he believed would keep the man warm through the winter.

The clerk, moved to the story, gave the officer his employee discount – 25 percent off.

Officer Deprimo said he keeps the $75 receipt as a reminder that ‘sometimes people have it worse.’

Deprimo, who lives on Long Island with his parents, joined the force in 2010.

The photo was taken by Jennifer Foster, a 911 dispatcher from from Pinal County, Arizona, who was in New York for Thanksgiving.

When she got home, she emailed the photo to the NYPD, which posted it to the department’s Facebook page.

She said she took the picture because the scene reminded her of her own father, a 32-year veteran of the Phoenix police department. She remembers as a child watching him give food to a homeless man.

‘He squatted down, just like this officer,’ she told the Times.


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Fudrucker screws up, again

Not a penny for his friends

Last night’s lottery winners were from Arizona and Missouri, respectively.   If there is any advantage in working with Connecticut’s lottery commissioner, it escapes me.


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Paging Dr. Krugman

NHS patients treated with cruelty and contempt.

Up to 1,200 patients are thought to have died over several years at Mid Staffordshire hospitals due to shocking care, which saw some resorting to drinking water from flower vases.

At Winterbourne View in Bristol, undercover reporters last year filmed grotesque abuse of vulnerable residents.

Mr Hunt said there was an “urgent need” to make managers accountable for poor care.

He said: “Most managers get this … but too many do not. Buried in spreadsheets they become blind to the realities of what is happening day on day inside their organisations.

It’s endemic: former midwife recounts tales of chaos, filth

And last month: Another British horror tale.

Here’s what Dr. Krugman promised New York Times readers back in 2009:

In Britain, the government itself runs the hospitals and employs the doctors. We’ve all heard scare stories about how that works in practice; these stories are false.

Our health system is a mess and I have yet to read a plausible scheme for fixing it, from either side of the political spectrum. So I don’t really care if Krugman is as clueless as the rest of us. I do find it annoying that regressives cheer ObamaKare the first step to their intended goal of a national, government ruled health care system, as a plan that’s going to improve matters. As Krugman himself might say, “those stories are false”.

Don’t get old, or sick, is the best advice I can think of.


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